And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away
Upper YA Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman
Jakob DeJonghe can think of nothing but revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears the day before Yom Kippur. As conditions in Amsterdam worsen, Jakob is determined to fight back and be the master of his own destiny, just as his heroes the Maccabees did in ancient times.
While en route from Westerbork, Jakob seizes an opportunity to jump from a death train, breaking his foot as he lands. As he limps for his life towards a forest, he’s found by four young resistance fighters and taken to a safe house. Even though Jakob has been left with a permanent limp, he’s still determined to defend his country and track down the men who killed his father.
His dream comes true when he joins his new friends’ resistance group, but after a chance meeting with a spirited young woman on one of his missions, he’s jolted by emotions he thought he’d buried. And when he’s recruited into the Princess Irene Brigade and made a real soldier, Jakob realizes his battle is only half-won. If he ever wants to survive a world that will never be ordinary again, love and not hate will have to carry him through. And if he finds his dream girl again, this painful readjustment just might be easier.
First 150 words:
Jakob DeJonghe looked away from a German soldier as he and his mother Luisa headed home from the Waterlooplein market. Tomorrow, at Yom Kippur services, he planned to pray for these fiends to leave his country. Five months of occupation were about all he could take. But in the meantime, he was looking forward to making chocolate cake when they got home.
“You’re the world’s best cook, Moeder.” Jakob shifted a heavy bag of groceries to his other arm. “I wish I were still as little as Emilia so I could lick the spoon.”
He and Luisa halted at unfamiliar voices coming from the open back door of their home. His father Rudolf sat on the floor sobbing as three Nazis stood above him. Their hateful, steely little eyes were fixed only on Ruud, not on his wife and son.
“Here you go.” One of Them pushed a gun into Ruud’s hand.